Minimally invasive spine surgery is different from traditional, "open" spine surgery in that the open approach involves making a long incision down the back, stripping large bands of muscle away from the spine and then retracting or pulling the surrounding muscles to each side so the surgeon can get a clear view of the vertebrae of the spine to be treated.
This minimally invasive spine surgery involves small incisions, muscle dilation and the use of microsurgical and image guided technologies to access, view and repair spinal deterioration or damage. Muscle dilation involves gently and gradually separating, rather than cutting away, the muscles that surround the spine to create a "tunnel" through which your surgeon may perform surgery. Using this system, your surgeon can insert and attach screw and rod implants to the spine with minimal muscle and tissue disruption.
Potential risks associated with the use of this technology include, but are not limited to, transitioning to a conventional open procedure, early or late loosening of any or all of the components; and disassembly, bending, and/or breakage of any or all of the components. Pressure on the skin from component parts in patients with inadequate tissue coverage over the implant could possibly cause skin penetration, irritation, internal scaring, tissue death, and/or pain. Additional risks include joint inflammation; tissue or nerve damage caused by the improper positioning and placement of implants or instruments; and postoperative changes in spinal curvature, loss or correction, height, and/or reduction. Potential risks also include fracture, microfracture, bone loss, damage, or penetration of any spinal bone and/or bone graft or bone graft harvest site at, above, and/or below the level of surgery; and nonunion (or pseudarthrosis), delayed union, or mal-union.
The screw extenders are long metal shafts used to deliver and attach screws to the vertebrae through small skin incisions. The rod inserter is an arc-shaped arm that swings on an axis and delivers a rod through the skin and muscle and into the heads of the implanted screws.
To perform spine surgery using this system, your surgeon will make small incisions along the side of the spine over the vertebrae to be treated, dilate the muscles as needed and then, using the fluoroscope, guide the components of the system into place to deliver and attach the rods and screws. Once the procedure is complete, your surgeon will remove the components and close the incisions with a few stitches.